Rugrats is a series of video games based on The Rugrats, an American animated television series created by Klasky Csupo Productions for Nickelodeon. The show focuses on a group of toddlers, most prominently Tommy, Chuckie, twins Phil and Lil, and Angelica, and their day-to-day lives, usually involving common life experiences that become adventures in the babies' imaginations. Adults in the series are almost always unaware of what the children are up to.
The series focuses on the experiences of a courageous, adventurous one-year-old baby named Tommy Pickles and his group of playmates – several other infants and toddlers, some of whom debuted later in the series. Chuckie, Tommy's bespectacled, red-headed, insecure cowardly two-year-old best friend; the twins Phil and Lil, noted for their revolting eccentricities and love of digging for and eating insects and earthworms; Tommy's baby brother Dil (who was born in The Rugrats Movie); Angelica, Tommy and Dil's three-year-old outrageously spoiled, selfish cousin who is a "rival" of his friends and the main antagonist of the program; Kimi, Chuckie's adventurous, playful stepsister (introduced in Rugrats in Paris); and Susie, a good-hearted neighbor of the Pickles family, Angelica's schoolmate, friend and "rival", who is better liked by the younger children and far more reliable than Angelica.
The other characters depicted in Rugrats include the babies' parents, who are portrayed as often being easily distracted, leaving their young children free to emancipate themselves from restraints such as playpens or strollers and venture out to explore. Such adult figures include Didi and Stu Pickles, Tommy and Dil's mother and father. Didi is a sweet, educated, loving mother who decides to return to college in one episode. Stu is an often-feckless toy inventor whose designs have been known to either fail or break. Other parents include Chas Finster, Chuckie's stereotypically nerdy, mild-mannered father, a widower who later remarries; Kira, Chuckie's sweet-natured, kind, and understanding stepmother whom Chas marries in Rugrats in Paris; Drew Pickles, Angelica's indulgent, doting father who pampers his daughter to a ridiculous degree; Charlotte Pickles, Angelica's workaholic mother who overindulges her daughter equally, if often seen talking on her cell phone with an employee of hers named Jonathan, although neither of them are afraid to put their foot down then they feel she is getting out of line; Betty DeVille, Phil and Lil's kind but boisterous feminist mother; and Howard DeVille, the twins' mild-mannered, soft-spoken father.
Susie's parents and elder siblings also make appearances in some episodes, and another major adult character includes Lou Pickles, Drew and Stu's father and Tommy, Angelica, and Dil's grandfather; an elderly widower who later remarries with an active woman named Lulu. Didi's parents, Jewish immigrants named Boris and Minka, also appear numerous times and serve as important characters and are often seen bickering. Rugrats also has animal characters, including the Pickles family dog, Spike, who has played important roles in some episodes, and Angelica's pet cat Fluffy.
The show functions under a translation convention for baby talk, which is presented as essentially a separate language which only other babies can understand. The babies' dialogue is almost universally translated for viewers into comprehensible English dialogue, but adults in the series cannot understand them. One example of this dissonance is when Tommy says "Reptar!", (the title character of a popular in-show children's franchise) but his mother then responds that she heard him say "riff raff", and that she hopes he's getting close to speaking full words, indicating that adult characters still hear the dialogue of baby characters as babbling. The translated dialogue of the babies is still presented as infantile English, reflecting their limited understanding of the world. Another major point of this plot convention is that toddlers who have learned to speak adult language can still understand baby talk, because they are at a transitional age between the two. Angelica and Susie can understand what the baby characters are saying but can also communicate with adults, though they never outright reveal to the adults that they can comprehend complex messages from the babies. Very young newborns, such as Tommy's little brother, cannot yet communicate even with baby talk, although Dil has a very limited vocabulary consisting of the words "poopy" and "mine" which are perhaps the only words he is capable of saying. The older babies, such as Tommy and Chuckie, are able to interpret what Dil is trying to communicate although, due to their own age, it is difficult. When the older babies do figure out what Dil wants or needs, it usually involves changing his diaper or giving him an object— to play with, or just to experience the joy of holding it.
Their are nineteen video games based on the series have been released: Rugrats: Scavenger Hunt for Nintendo 64; Rugrats: Search for Reptar and Rugrats: Studio Tour for PlayStation, Rugrats: Totally Angelica for the PlayStation and Game Boy Color; Rugrats: Time Travelers and The Rugrats Movie for Game Boy Color; Rugrats in Paris: The Movie for Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Game Boy Color, and PC CD Rom; Rugrats: Royal Ransom for PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube; Rugrats: Totally Angelica Boredom Busters, All Growed Up, Rugrats Activity Challenge, Rugrats Adventure Game, Rugrats Munchin Land, and The Rugrats Mystery Adventures for PC CD Rom; Rugrats Go Wild for PC CD Rom and Game Boy Advance; Rugrats: I Gotta Go Party, Rugrats: Castle Capers, and All Grown Up!: Express Yourself for Game Boy Advance; and Rugrats Food Fight for Mobile phone. Tommy and Angelica appear as guest characters in Rocket Power: Team Rocket Rescue. They appear again as playable characters in Nickelodeon Party Blast and Nicktoons Racing. Tommy later appears in Nicktoons Basketball in his All Grown Up! form. Rugrats characters make non-playable appearances in Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots and Nicktoons MLB.
Main (Tommy Pickles | Chuckie Finster | Lil Deville | Phil Deville | Dil Pickles | Kimi Finster | Angelica Pickles | Susie Carmichaels | Spike) | Grown-ups (Stu Pickles | Didi Pickles | Grandpa Lou Pickles II | Drew Pickles | Charlotte Pickles | Betty DeVille | Charles Finster | Kira Finster | Howie DeVille | Lucy Carmichael | Randy Carmichael | Taffy Maynston) | Reptar